The language announced at WWDC yesterday came as a big surprise to almost everyone. At Chris Lattner's Homepage you can find a short summary on the history of the Swift programming language. He started work on the language in July 2010, and it became a major focus for the Apple Developer Tools group 3 years later. Other people started to contribute to the project in late 2011. He mentions Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, CLU as inspirations for the language itself, and Bret Victor's ideas and Light Table as inspiration for Xcode Playgrounds (Playgrounds allow you to edit the code listings and see the result immediately). He says that Playgrounds and REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop) were a personal passion of him. REPL is an interactive version of Swift built into the debugging console of Xcode. You can use Swift syntax to directly evaluate and interact with your running app in the Xcode console.